March 2, 1902 letter to Inez Eaton from Dora Beach

March 2, 1902

To: Inez Eaton

From: Dora Beach, Mesick, Michigan

Writes about various family members; wasn’t sure if Inez knew about the birth of her son, Arthur Raymond Beach. They are building their own house and hope to move soon. Is glad that Inez has a good husband.

Scan of 1902-03-02 Dora Beach to Inez Eaton

Mesick March 2nd 1902

Dear Niece

It has been a long time since I wrote to you. I believe it was in June. I directed it to Bloomingdale. You grandma[1] answered it. You had gone than. I don’t know as you received it. You didn’t know I had a baby boy[2] six months old. He weighs 20 lb. His grandpa & ma[3] think he is all right. We received your letter and picture. Was very much pleased with them. Pa got them. Addie[4] and Nanie[5] have both been sick in fact there is lots of sickness.

Irving & Shirley[6] have been here today. The children are all nice. I think lots of them. Did you since you were married. The baby name is Arthur Raymond. We had a letter from Aunt Deal Randall.[7] She said Alice (Simpson) Srackangast the one you were named after[8] had the consumption and couldn’t last longer than spring.[9] She was one of your mama’s[10] greatest friend. She lives in Benton Harbor.

Ira[11] has been quite poorly with the Lagrippe[12] better now. Pa he has been laid up for three weeks. He sliped (on loading ice) and fell and struck one of his kidneys. We have a fine lot of ice put up so you must be sure and come on the excursion next fall and eat ice cream.

March 16 Dear Niece

This letter has now been commenced two weeks and have tryed every since to finish. The baby is now seven months old and he always has been a great care.

I haven’t heard from any one south in a good while. It makes me almost home sick at times. We are building our own place and soon expect to be by ourselves. We will only be a mile & a half apart so if any of us are sick we can get to one others assistance.

Where is Glen and does Herbert still live in Charlotte & where does Leon[13] live. I think you have told me but have forgotten now. I am glad you have got such a good husband[14] for every one always has trouble enough in one way or another at the best. Just look in you Grandpa Randalls[15] & Keiths[16] family in sickness & deaths.[17]

Do you know how you Grandpas folks are. I would enjoy a visit with them. Well I will close with love to you both. I remain your affectionate Aunt Dora Beach.

Ira will write some.


[1] Mary Ann (Batey) Keith

[2] Arthur Raymond Beach was born August 14, 1901 in Mesick, Wexford County, Michigan

[3] Her parents, Russell & Sarah (Williams) Randall

[4] Adelaide (Beach) Randall, Inez’s stepmother, who was also Dora’s sister-in-law

[5] Adelaide’s baby daughter, Naneta Randall, who was Inez’s stepsister

[6] A note was inserted saying “could be Inez stepbrother.” Her stepbrothers’ names were Walter Irving and Shirley Zell Randall

[7] Unknown at this time; research continues

[8] Inez’s middle name was Alice

[9] According to Michigan death records, she died February 17, 1903

[10] Catherine “Katie” (Keith) Randall. She died when Inez was just two years old

[11] Believe she is referring to her brother, Ira Randall, who was Inez’s father, but not sure why she would refer to him by name rather than “your father”

[12] Influenza

[13] Inez’s maternal uncles, Glenn Noah, John Herbert and James Leon Keith

[14] Inez married Jay Eaton on May 29, 1901

[15] Inez’s paternal grandparents, Russell & Sarah (Williams) Randall

[16] Inez’s maternal grandparents, James “Oscar” & Mary Ann (Batey) Keith

[17] Of Oscar & Mary Ann’s six children, their oldest, Jessie, died at the age of 22; their second oldest, Katie (Inez’s mother), died of consumption at the age of 20; and their third oldest, Harvey, was murdered at the age of 22

This letter is among several which were loaned to Jim & Ruth (Stankey) Keith, probably back in the 1980s, by Ella Nola (Curtis) Eaton, whose husband, Clifford Eaton, was the great-great-grandson of James “Oscar” & Mary Ann (Batey) Keith. This is a photocopy of Ruth’s handwritten copy of the letter. Note: Jim Keith is the great-grandson of Charles Luke Keith Jr., who was James “Oscar” Keith’s uncle.
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